Going Out

New year’s eve in – four party ideas to execute in the comfort of your own home

How often have you been disappointed on New Year’s Eve?

The first time I associated my displeasure with the supposed-to-be-grandiose night was 2007. A couple of friends and I went downtown for fireworks but ended up completely missing them and then getting on a bus going the wrong direction, ending up at a bus station in Riverside (I lived in Nepean at the time), waiting for someone’s brother to come and get us.

Since, it’s been a mixture of dingy bars with bad food, missing my midnight kiss completely – not realizing the ball had dropped, ruining footwear in the unforgiving Ottawa winter, and scrambling for cabs and busses.

Only once since 2007 can I remember a NYE that I enjoyed, it was when my cousin and I ate an entire cheese ball and watched chick flicks whilst drinking wine.

My theory is that the only way you can truly have a great NYE experience out (in this city and climate, that is, where one must take transport, weather, and significantly higher-cost-at-bars into consideration) is to attend a wedding. You will have the grand venue, everyone will be dressed up, and there will be flowing alcohol.

This year, we have come up with a list of pretty promising parties (to be posted later this aft, stay tuned), that I am very tempted to attend, but have decided to tread the safer path to 2016 and stay home. Should you feel inclined to do the same, here are some ideas to rock in the new year – in comfort and style.

Photo from british-bride.co.uk
Take a note from the Grease girls and have a night in. Photo from british-bride.co.uk

Sweatpants & class
The idea: The ultimate in staying in on New Year’s – dress yourself down, dress up the house.
What you need:
– The usual – streamers, balloons, sparklers – dollar store purchases
– Boardgames – some faves this year are Dixit, Telestrations, and, as always, Cards Against Humanity.
– Gourmet snacks. Just say no to chips and dips. If you’re dressing cas to the max, make sure your food is dressed to the nines. Think charcuterie boards, decorative marshmallows, roasted nuts, get creative.
The drink: Nothing other than the classic bubbles. A bottle of Champagne, or stick to sparkling wine to be more budget-friendly.
Midnight moment: With classic bubbles, you need a classic cheers. Make sure Auld lang syne is playing at the exact moment.

The Wests are feeling the glitter and gold. Photo from @glitterandsweatpants instagram
The Wests are feeling the glitter and gold (including, I’m sure, Baby West #3 who will be joining the world in 2016). Photo from @glitterandsweatpants instagram

Glitter & gold
The idea: Make NYE everything it’s supposed to be with all the sparkle and shine – right in your own home.
What you need:
– Depending on how much time you have, dip literally everything in gold glitter or spray paint gold. Dip the base of wine glasses, utensils, mason jars, what-have-you in podge and then dump on the glitter. Or grab a can of spray paint and go wild!
– Dress code: anything glitter and gold
The drink: The gold-flecked Goldschläger, of course.
Midnight moment: The golden glitter toss – have baggies of gold glitter ready to hand off to guests for when the clock strikes midnight.

Photo from youtube.com
Party attire on point. Photo from youtube.com

Hawaiian
The idea: This was the theme our senior editor used for a Christmas Eve party as the winter had been so balmy. We thought it would make a great NYE party as well, but then the dumping of snow happened. But will we let that stop us from making mojitos and wearing leis? Absolutely not.
What you need:
– order in Hawaiian pizzas or make a bunch of personal sized ones with pita, tomato sauce, bacon, cheese, and pineapple
– leis
– limbo (a broomstick will do for this)
– Bob Marley’s greatest hits
– hula dancing lessons
The drink: A solid mojito recipe (maybe use pineapple juice instead of simple syrup)
Midnight moment: After everyone has mastered hula dancing, kick off the New Year with a cheers and the best luau Canada has ever seen.

255695-stranded-man-survives-10-days-by-eating-snow
Hopefully this will not be you on New Year’s day. Photo from ibtimes.com

Winter Wonderland (also referred to as the “Canadian”)
The idea: Don’t let the snow ruin your party, make it the star player.
What you need:
– tell guests to bring warm clothes so you can have snowball fights and snowman (or woman) building competitions
– Also wear lots of plaid and Roots gear
– Poutine bar
– Homemade BearverTails
The drink: A hot chocolate bar, booze included
Midnight moment: Take a polar bear dip in your backyard – everyone runs outside in their skivvies to welcome the new year by getting out of their comfort zone, returning inside to many-a blankets and sweaters (make sure to prep this beforehand).

Some all around good ideas to include with any party
– Play “Hidden Agenda” – as guests arrive, give everyone a secret task to execute throughout the night. This could be “Eat off other people’s plates” or “Get people to compliment you.” The game runs all night, while everyone tries to guess each other’s hidden agenda.
– Make “2016 kick-starter” take away bags. Include a Gatorade, Starbucks VIA instant coffee packet, a Cliff bar – or other healthy treat, and a printed goal sheet for 2016 like this one, or this.
– Wear stretchy pants or a forgiving dress to truly enjoy the food and drinks. Diet starts next year.